Although there is some debate on that, I stand with Billy Graham.
We lost our Allie Girl today. And just when I thought there couldn’t be anymore sadness, our hearts are broken in half.
Allie found us. Rather, she found Felix, in August of 2007, when PLUTO Rescue did their events at Petsmart. It was August 4th, Felix’s birthday, and we stopped in just to grab a bag of food for Lucky. Meghan and I walked through the aisles enjoying some of the puppies around for adoption. Ready to leave, I asked, “Where’s Daddy?” And there he was, knee to knee – eye to eye- with Allie. “This is the dog I was meant to have,” he told me very matter-of factly.
I came up with a litany of reasons why a second dog was a bad idea. ( We already had Lucky)
“What if they don’t get along?” (Solved in 2 seconds flat when they met outside Petsmart. They were fast friends.)
“We are having company for Meghan’s birthday next week.” (They offered to delay the adoption 2 weeks.)
“Our yard may not be big enough.” (We passed the home visit with flying colors.)
“We don’t have the money right now _” (I was grasping. The fee was so reasonable. And they offered to postdate the check a month.)
But I won.
Allie joined us on August 12, 2007. The guesstimate for her age was three. I suspect that was conservative. She stepped into our home with none of the puppy nonsense new dogs cause. She was trained, didn’t bite the furniture, or pee on the rug. She needed a little tiny training to settle down with her food. Easily done. And she really was the perfect dog.
She was Felix’s dog from the get go. No matter where he went she followed. She slept on his feet at the TV at night. She waited for him on the weekends if he slept in. She sat at his feet when he whistled. She greeted him at the door. She knew it was he who had freed her from the cycle of adoption and fosters, and found her her forever home.
Her “tough” side – much like Felix’s, was put into check with the right love.
I took a bit longer to catch on. It took a few baths, and some nail cutting, and adjusting to calls from the groomers that they couldn’t service her. I had to understand her, her abandonment, and her need to trust again. Once I “got it,” we did just fine.
Mostly I fell in love with Allie because she loved my Meghan. I can remember nights, and there were so many sleep deprived nights, that Meghan would wake crying, and if we didn’t hear fast enough, Allie would come and get Felix and I and make sure we took care of her. She became so protective of Meghan – from “hide and seek” to watching her in the pool, to not resting until Daddy dug her out of the snow bank, Allie knew Felix was her master, and protecting Meghan was her purpose.
And how could I not love the dog that loved my two favorites?
Meghan, being without siblings, took to the dogs as her “furry sisters.” She always used the number 5 to represent her family.
And when she was sick, or hurt, or recovering, as she so often was, Allie was loyal and attentive always.
Being sick is the pits. Having Cowden’s Syndrome is horrendous. Having a dog or two to love you through it – definitely a bright spot.
There were so many nights. More than can be named. So many nights of tears and frustration and sadness and anger. Soothed by the love of a dog.
We love Lucky. Very much. But we always said Allie made Lucky a dog. Allie turned her in the right direction. Made her less neurotic and more normal. They were sisters. A good pair.
Cowden’s Syndrome just got a little harder to swallow.
Life just got lonelier.
Allie got sick fast. Maybe a few weeks of not being quite right. And a few days of really being laid up.
We took her to the vet Sunday. It looked bad. I took her back today. It was over. Her belly was full of fluid. Even without eating – 2 pounds heavier than Sunday. They didn’t offer to do blood. Or treat.
“This is it,” the vet said.
And Meghan and Felix came, and we sat as a family. And we said goodbye together. We hugged, and held, and loved and cried. Then we left.
Our world, and our lives forever changed. Richer for our experiences, more painful for our losses. For only those who love deeply, can hurt.
Thank you Allie.
Hopefully Grandpa Tom finds you. You two always got along. Cause I firmly believe I’ll see you both again.